“I kind of have the feeling that he’s going to end up in D.C.” says Matt Musico, Baseball writer for Metsmerized & Yahoo Sports, on where free agent catcher J.T. Realmuto will land this offseason. “I don’t expect the Nats to just kind of stand pat and just think like, okay, we’ll just kind of see what happens”, he adds on Washington obtaining big name free agents. And now with reports that the Mets are close to signing a deal with former White Sox backstop, James McCann, who were speculated to be a big player for Realmuto, looked to have found their catcher and maybe go after other big names like George Springer or Trevor Bauer, and the Nationals become an even more popular suitor [for Realmuto].
I spoke with Musico about Trevor Bauer and George Springer, who are also big-name free agents, and discussed where they may land this winter. As well as Francisco Lindor, who is not a free agent, but the Indians have made it public they intend to trade Lindor by opening day, according to USA Today Sports. You can check the conversation out here on my Baseball Talk podcast:
We also spoke about the outlook for the NL East in 2021, and one of the more surprising teams in the 2020 shortened season was the Miami Marlins:
Q: They [Miami Marlins] played well this year…but are they actually this good?
A: “…I think the growth that they’re going to have, you know, moving forward, especially this coming year is really going to tell us how good they will be, and how quickly they’ll be good. So, it’ll be interesting to see how they can continue to build upon the success that they had this past year. And probably the boatloads of confidence that they rightly earned from all that all that they’ve accomplished.”
The Marlins went 31-29 in 2020, finished 2nd in the NL East and got to the NLDS where they lost to the Atlanta Braves.
He mentions that the Nationals are probably the closest team behind the Braves right now in the division and says the Phillies are the farthest:
“I mean, unfortunately, I hate to say it, but I think probably the Phillies. I mean, they’re not going to get Realmuto back. They’ve lost billions of dollars reportedly, which sounds ridiculous, but they’re not going to get him back…It’s really interesting to see like, just how things have changed over the past, you know, two years for the Phillies, because it just seemed as if they were going to spend whatever money it took. And then now all of a sudden, they’re reportedly looking to subtract…who knows? Who knows what’s going to come of it, especially if the main driver, especially in a (Zack) Wheeler trade is to just kind of sit on some money because someone’s willing to take on the entire contract. It’s not as if they’re going to feel the need to have this huge prospect package go back the other way too.”
Musico went on to mention it’s hard to predict what the Phillies are going to do moving forward because of their current situation with the front office.
One thing is for sure, the NL East and the rest of baseball will have their eyes on the New York Mets and the arrival of new owner Steve Cohen:
“Right now everyone’s just convinced that (George) Springer’s going to sign at any moment right now. And everyone was excited about Trevor May signing and everything that it means for the bullpen. But the difference between this year and years past, if the Mets signed a guy like Trevor May, like a year or two ago, the word would be “Okay, well, like alright, that’s like seven and a half million dollars for this upcoming year. How much money do they even have left? Is this the biggest signing that they’re going to have? This year we kind of knew like this is the signing that kind of just started everything off. This is only the beginning of what was to come. Who knows what they’ll eventually get. But, you know, the thinking like a lot of people were saying is that they’re going to get two of the Big Four (Springer, Bauer, Lindor, Realmuto).”
Major League Baseball’s Hot Stove season is always fun for baseball fans and this winter shouldn’t disappoint.
Featured Image: Mitchell Leff | Credit: Getty Images
Matt Musico Twitter: @mmusico8